Steel sheet pile installation specialist and supplier, Sheet Piling (UK) Limited, is playing its part in helping EFL Championship football club, Fulham FC, develop a suite of amenities, that will enable it to retain the iconic riverside, Craven Cottage site as its footballing home for many years to come.
Sheet Piling UK has been part of a project that has seen Fulham FC extend its Riverside Stand, to increase its seating capacity. The project also aims to create amenities along its stretch of the River Thames, for the enjoyment of fans, residents and visitors alike.
Extending the stand and transforming the river side walkway into a world-class destination, which will boast a pathway that allows leisure users to have an uninterrupted walk between Hammersmith and Putney bridges, required the type of groundwork support in which Sheet Piling UK specialises. Its team started work at the site in April 2020, following the demolition of Fulham FC’s existing Riverside Stand.
To create the necessary support works for the new stand, Sheet Piling UK both supplied and installed a range of its Emirates Steel sheet pile sections, consisting of EZ24-700 and EZ26-700 pairs of sheet piles, of lengths of between 10-13 metres. These were used to form a three-sided permanent basement, with the fourth side formed by the previously completed and realigned Thames wall.
A part-cantilever and part-propped design solution was implemented, using the Z-section sheet piles to deliver the required structural properties and weight efficiencies. No delay in obtaining a supply of these first-class sheet piles was required, given the extensive amount of stock that Sheet Piling UK always holds. This saved the project time, enabling work to keep moving without unnecessary delay.
Sheet piles were installed into predominantly cohesive soils using vibrator methods, followed by impact driving to achieve the design toe levels, as pre-augering was not possible. Z-section Emirates Steel sheet piles were installed in pairs, using two ABI telescopic leader rigs from the Sheet Piling UK fleet. These were fitted with resonance-free vibratory piling hammers and Sheet Piling UK’s double jaw clamp, ABI MZK1250 assemblies.
Impact driving was then undertaken using the company’s Delmag leader-mounted hammer. This was of great benefit to the client, removing the need to create a deep lead trench, or longer sheet piles, which would have been the case had a conventional, crane-suspended, hydraulic impact hammer been used.
Having completed the initial sheet pile installation, Sheet Piling UK’s team are now looking to the next stage of the bulk earthworks project, which will see them creating and installing a temporary steel-welded support frame (part cofferdam). Once the earthworks are completed, the sheet pile interlocks will be welded, so as to provide a watertight basement structure.
Sheet Piling UK’s managing director, Andrew Cotton, says: “We are delighted in playing our part in giving a real community-focused football club like Fulham FC the opportunity to develop its ground in such a way as to secure its future at the site for many years to come. Many sports grounds are reticent to ask their fan base to adopt new grounds, in new locations and, through this project, Fulham FC has not had to do so. It has been able to create a valuable sporting and leisure resource at its much beloved sporting home, with steel sheet piling at its base.”